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Sharp Releases Details on Next Linux "Enterprise PDA"

Sharp's Zaurus SL-6000 will come built-in with Wi-Fi, mobile middleware and a larger screen.

Sharp Wednesday released details of its forthcoming upgraded Linux handheld, claiming it has significantly strengthened the device's appeal to enterprises.

The Zaurus SL-6000 will come with built-in 802.11b capabilities and mobile middleware software from IBM, Sharp said in a statement. As it did with the previous version of the handheld, the company claims development of mobilized applications will be simplified because the device is based on Linux and includes a Java environment.

The device, which Sharp is touting as an "enterprise PDA," will sport a four-inch color screen and a built-in QWERTY keyboard, the company said. The screen will support resolutions as high as 640 x 480 and can switch between landscape and portrait modes.

The device will come with 64MB of RAM and uses an Intel Xscale 400MHz processor. It will have both Compact Flash and SD expansion slots, the company said.

In addition to built-in Wi-Fi, Sharp said it will sell an add-on 1xRTT modem in the Compact Flash form factor. The device will come loaded with IBM's WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager middleware software, according to the company. The software will enable users to connect to Web-based applications and retrieve information from IBM's DB2 database.

Sharp said the device will ship in the first quarter of 2004 but provided no pricing information.